Steven Z. Glickel, MD
October 30, 2007
Thanks to the efforts of Drs. Richard Gelberman and Martin Boyer, the Hand Society enjoyed a tremendously successful annual meeting in Seattle. The Seattle meeting had an attendance of 2,559, the highest ever for an Annual Meeting that was not combined with ASHT.
The “Future in Hand” Capital Campaign to increase the endowment for research continued to gain momentum, with over $2 million raised by the end of the meeting. The Council sincerely appreciates the generosity of the ASSH membership and the hard work and leadership of Drs. Terry Light and Anne Miller.
The purpose of this report is to let you know what happened at our most recent Council meetings held just before and after the annual meeting where decisions were made in several important areas:
Drs. James Chang and Richard Berger and the Research Management Committee have begun their thorough revision of the AFSH/ASSH research grant process and will propose a new application format and guidelines by early 2008. Also, Dr. Chang is excited about the new opportunity to support young ASSH member researchers to attend the ACS Young Surgical Investigators Conference in March 2008. Kevin Chung, MD is coordinating the Clinical Trials and Outcome Committee’s work as they assess the clinical topics which are of interest to our members, the best way to perform multicenter clinical trials, and turn start-up grants into research funded by the NIH or other granting agencies.
Edward Akelman, MD, the new Director of Education, will work with Task Force and committee chairs to create a five year plan for the Society’s educational offerings. By being more deliberate about the courses, publications, and Journal of Hand Surgery review articles we are producing, we hope to create a grid of educational offerings and prospective authors and course presenters to maximize the productivity and diminish the demands on their time. We will try to coordinate courses and publications in a more strategic way than has been done in the past. We will also explore new ways to deliver educational content so that we can do a better job of accommodating the diverse learning styles and preferences of our membership.
The Practice Division, led by Dan Nagle, MD, will focus this year on what ASSH can do to help members from a business perspective. Among the committees under his purview are those which address issues of CPT coding and pay for performance which are critically important to all of us. The Business of Hand Surgery committee will be looking at different tools to put on the website to enhance members’ practices. He is also working with Lionel Brown, MD to develop the Business of Hand Surgery Newsletter which will include practice related information created by members and authorities on coding and practice management.
Council voted to support La Federacion de Mano (La Fed), a group of hand societies from around North and South America, by providing staff time and expertise to the organization. Being involved with La Fed will help ASSH improve relations with our colleagues around the world. Dr. Alex Shin will be our liaison.
Council also approved a set of principles recommended by the Corporate Relations Task Force to act as guidelines or “rules of engagement” for exploring opportunities with corporations, something we have acted upon in principle in the past but have never codified. We are consulting with the ASSH counsel, Jed Mandel, to help further refine these principles so that our direction is clear as we deal with future corporate sponsorships. We are very cognizant of the need for maintaining the ethical high ground as the Hand Society develops and expands industry partnerships, particularly in the area of support for research. Our goal is to have that support be as unrestricted as possible.
Andy Lee, MD and the Journal Advisory Committee unveiled the new cover and design for The Journal of Hand Surgery. His task force is working on implementing the new, MOC oriented review section which is planned to go into effect within the next year. The editor and subsection editors for the review section will be selected within the next several weeks. The transition from Peter Weiss’ outstanding leadership of the current to the “upgraded” review section will take place at the beginning of the new year.
During the Council meeting, several new initiatives were launched which include task forces addressing:
Ethics & Professionalism—chair, Ghazi Rayan, MD
To develop a Code of Ethical Conduct for members delineating standards for the ethical practice of hand surgery.
Publications & Education—chair, Andy Lee, MD
To develop a five year timeline for the development, integration and coordination of print publications and digital products.
Educational Technology—chair, Michael Hausman, MD
To develop a hand surgery Wikipedia and investigate the feasibility of an image repository and research database.
Member Relations—chair, Andy Koman, MD
To assess member benefits and participation, and assess how well members feel they are being served by the ASSH and its leadership.
Affiliate Membership—chair, Tom Trumble, MD
To consider the value of an Affiliate Membership category to include hand therapists, hand physician’s assistants, hand nurses and others.
Program/Product Review—chair, Dan Nagle, MD
To review programs and products of the ASSH on a three year cycle and recommend to Council whether to continue or discontinue programs.
Course Planning—chair, Kevin Chung, MD
To develop a five year timeline for the development of CME courses, alternative educational techniques and venues, and speaker assignments to optimize productivity and diminish repetition.
AFSH Structure—chair, Bob Szabo, MD
To review the governance and operations of the AFSH, develop a strategic plan, and foster relations between the AFSH and the Capital Campaign and between the AFSH and ASSH.
After each quarterly Council meeting, I will let you know the new directions that Council has taken. In the meantime, please contact me with your ideas and recommendations. I look forward to an exciting year serving the ASSH.